Standard Life encourages organizations to measure prevention and health promotion programs

Recent study by the Conference Board of Canada provides measuring tools to help organizations

MONTREAL, July 16, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Standard Life sponsored a report recently published by the Conference Board of Canada that indicates that Canadian organizations intuitively understand the benefits of investing in prevention and health promotion programs for their employees, but struggle to demonstrate the positive return on investment (ROI) of such programs.

The report, Making the Business Case for Investments in Workplace Health and Wellness, was released in June.  A summary of this report is also available. Its primary goal is to help organizations make the case for investing in prevention and health promotion programs, while providing advice and tools for more rigorous measurement of their direct financial returns. Given the trend towards stricter corporate governance and accountability, these measures will allow organizations to better determine the financial benefits of their investments and justify the cost of maintaining such programs in the face of competing organizational priorities.

According to the study, few Canadian employers systematically analyze the ROI of their prevention and health promotion programs - although roughly one-third do measure program outcomes in some form. They are currently more focused on demonstrating the positive impacts and outcomes of their programs, such as a reduced number of short-term disability claims, or increases in employee engagement, than on their positive ROI. The study's findings show that employers struggle to measure the ROI for many reasons, including difficulties in integrating data from a range of sources and the lack of resources or expertise.

"As an expert in disability prevention and management services for employers, Standard Life supports the findings of this study, which confirm, once again, the importance of workplace prevention and health promotion programs. Most importantly, this report provides practical tools to help employers justify this investment and better understand the best practices for setting up an effective program and measuring its positive outcomes", said Eric Pfeiffer, Senior Advisor, Prevention and Health Promotion, Health and Absence Management at Standard Life. "We have always strongly encouraged our clients to not only implement prevention and health promotion programs, but to measure their impacts."

Beyond ROI measurement and corporate accountability, the report also highlights the fact that employers should invest in workplace prevention and health promotion programs because it simply makes financial sense to do so. Investing in such programs can lead to reduced benefits costs, reduced absenteeism, reduced presenteeism (circumstances in which an employee is physically at work, but not fully productive), and higher productivity.

As a provider of disability management services to employers, Standard Life has for many years been a strong advocate of and a firm believer in promoting workplace prevention and health promotion programs. Various studies it has completed or participated in have consistently demonstrated that the single most important variable affecting health is lifestyle, and that disability and health care costs are directly related to employees' lifestyles and health risk factors.

About Standard Life
Standard Life plc is a leading long-term savings and investment company headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland. Standard Life has around 6 million customers worldwide and operates in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America and Asia Pacific, and globally with Standard Life Investments Ltd.

In Canada, Standard Life has been doing business for almost 180 years. Standard Life Financial Inc., which wholly owns The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada and Standard Life Mutual Funds Ltd., is Standard Life plc's largest operation outside the UK. With about 2,000 employees, it provides long-term savings, investment and insurance solutions to more than 1.4 million Canadians, including group benefit and retirement plan members.

As of March 31, 2012, Standard Life plc had C$330 billion in assets under administration, including C$42 billion in Canada through Standard Life Financial.

SOURCE STANDARD LIFE

For further information:

Ann-Marie Gagné
External Communications and Public Affairs
Tel.: 514-499-7999, ext. 4600 / 1-877-499-9555, ext. 4600
ann-marie.gagne@standardlife.ca

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